Schütte’s artistic research ranges from architecture to decoration, installation and drawing to sculpture and public works. Mostly known as a sculptor, his beginnings were with pictorial works influenced by the teaching of Gerhard Richter, whose pupil he was. Schütte then turned his attention to architectural models, to be seen more as conceptual constructions than as designs for functional buildings. An exception to this in recent years is the artist’s creation of the Skulpturenhalle, a personal museum based on a model of his, which hosts exhibitions by contemporary artists. Since the 1980s and 1990s, the human figure and its expressive potential have become increasingly important to Schütte. Figures and portraits are created in different materials, from glass to bronze, aluminium and ceramics, which take form in both small and monumental sculptures. The artist’s interest in tradition and transformation has become a constant source of inspiration, never conventional, and he often draws inspiration from classical Western statuary and particularly ancient Roman art.
Thomas Schütte (Oldenburg, Germany, 1954) lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany, where he inaugurated the museum he designed in 2016. In the 1970s he studied at the Düsseldorf Kunstakademie with Gerhard Richter and Fritz Schwegler. Recent solo exhibitions include: Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria (2019); La Monnaie de Paris, Paris, France (2019); Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden (2016); Fondazione Beyeler, Switzerland (2013); Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Turin (2012); Serpentine Gallery, London, UK (2012). In 1992 he took part in Documenta 9 in Kassel, Germany, and in 2005 he was awarded the Golden Lion at the 51. Venice Biennale.
Photo © Nanda Lanfranco